Comvita Innovation Limited (CIL) was created to facilitate Comvita’s research and development, whilst fostering links with universities and other research institutions. CIL is committed to advancing the current understanding of the benefits of natural products in order to develop products with proven efficacy. The team is strategically based in the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (IIB), New Zealand’s largest biotech cluster in the heart of The University of Auckland, where a large network of Life Sciences experts and cutting-edge technologies are available.
R & D Capability
For the past five years, CIL has been developing its own screening methodologies for testing bio-activities of the natural products that form Comvita’s active ingredient platform, such as Manuka honey, Olive Leaf Extract and Propolis. Based on these methodologies available, CIL is now offering consultations for companies wanting to test their ingredients for bio-active qualities.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Dr. Pablo German at email@example.com for more information.
CIL Research Focus
►Assessment of raw natural products.
►Natural products bio-active discovery and screening.
►Development of food processing technology that enhances active ingredients.
►Formulation and delivery of bio-actives.
►In vitro trials; cell-line biological assays; clinical trials (dietary intervention).
CIL Research Model and Research Partners
CIL collaborates with a number of research partners, sharing complex research infrastructures such as high-tech facilities and expert services. This means a broader research capability, greater exchange of ideas and increased flexibility with project designs.
CIL has been conducting research projects in collaboration with:
• Crown Research Institutes, such as:
Industrial Research Limited, Plant and Food Research and GNS Science.
• Universities and academic institutes, such as:
The University of Canterbury, Massey University, The University of Otago and The University of Reading (UK).
• Other industry organisations who share the same goals as Comvita.
CIL has published several peer-reviewed journals to support scientific accuracy in our research projects. Below is the list of currently available papers.
Currently available journals
• Phenolic compounds and methylglyoxal in some New Zealand Manuka and kanuka honeys. Food Chemistry, Volume 120, Issue 1, pages 78-86, 1 May 2010.
• Isolation and characterisation of arabinogalactan-proteins from New Zealand kanuka honey. Food Chemistry, Volume 128, Issue 4, Pages 949-956, 15 October 2011.
• The potential role of nutritional genomics tools in validating high health foods for cancer control: Broccoli as example. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 56, 126–146, January 2012.
• Indigenous New Zealand honeys exhibit multiple anti-inflammatory activities. Innate Immunity, 18(3):459-66, June 2012.
• Arabinogalactan proteins contribute to the immunostimulatory properties of New Zealand honeys. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, 34(4):598-607, August 2012.
• The effect of New Zealand kanuka, manuka and clover honeys on bacterial growth dynamics and cellular morphology varies according to the species. PLOS ONE, February 2013.
• Synergism between Medihoney and Rifampicin against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). PLOS ONE, February 2013.
•Olive (Olea europaea L.) Leaf Polyphenols Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Middle-Aged Overweight Men: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. PLOS ONE, March 2013.
CIL Student Theses
• Investigation of the immunostimulatory effects of some New Zealand honeys and characterization of an active component (Master of Technology in Food Technology at Massey University), Swapna Gannabathula, June 2010.
• Antimicrobial effect of Manuka honey and kanuka honey alone and in combination with the bio-actives against the growth of Propionibacterium acnes ATCC 6919 (Master of Technology in Food Technology at Massey University), Qiong Wu, June 2011.
• Interaction of Manuka honey derived phenolic compounds with natural beeswax (Diploma of Food Processing and Biotechnology at Berlin Institute for Technology and Food Chemistry), Jennifer Kuehne, December 2011.
• Fluorescence screening of indigenous New Zealand Honeys (Master of Biological Sciences at The University of Auckland), Jessie Bong Nee Jan, July 2012.
• Potential mechanism of augmentation of wound healing by anti-inflammatory and matrix metalloproteinase inhibitory effects of Manuka and kanuka honey (Master of Health Sciences at The University of Auckland), Victoria Tomblin, July 2012.
• The Impact of Integrated Gamification on University Students’ Physical Activity Levels (Master of Bioscience Enterprise at The University of Auckland), Vazishta Antia, December 2012.
The CIL Team
• Dr. Ralf Schlothauer, Chief Technical Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
• Dr. Jonathan Stephens, Senior Research Manager email@example.com
• Dr. Pablo German, Research Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
• Gregor Steinhorn, Research Manager email@example.com
• Yun Jae Lee, Research Project Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
• Vazishta Antia, Comvita Move Project Manager email@example.com
For general enquiries or feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Student participation is a key part of Comvita’s research model. Several PhD and Masters students from various universities conduct science projects under the supervision of CIL’s full-time researchers.
CIL also has an exchange programme with other universities for an internship or postgraduate projects. The programme is designed to strengthen Comvita’s relationship with overseas researchers and research institutes.
For more information on studentship opportunities, visit here.
The Comvita Science Symposium is CIL’s annual flagship event where Comvita’s global science network presents the latest research findings in the Natural Products industry. Comvita staff, investors, partners and government bodies network while learning and discussing the latest research outcomes and future direction of Comvita’s Research and Development. The ideas and information generated and exchanged on this day contribute towards product development and technology innovation.
(The panel discussion from the 2012 Science Symposium)
The Comvita Science Challenge is Comvita’s initiative to encourage students and the general public to become interested in healthy lifestyles. It challenges students to produce easy-to-understand three minute movie clips on healthy food that everyone can enjoy watching, while learning about the benefits of certain food ingredients. For students, it is a fun and meaningful project with an opportunity to win great prizes.
Watch one of the videos from the 2012 Secondary School entries: